en Will The Deep State's War On Trump Lead To An Actual Civil War? <p><a href="">Authored by Andrew Karybko via Oriental Review,</a></p> <p><em>Oriental Review is publishing the English original of Andrew Korybko&rsquo;s interview with&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">an Iranian newspaper</a>&nbsp;from earlier this month.</em></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 271px;" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>After only eight months after entering into office, we have witnessed the resignation and dismissal of 15 high-ranked people from the White House. In view of this, do you think that Trump will be able to finish his first term? Some analysts suggest that he won&rsquo;t, so how unstable do you think the political situation in the US, and how serious of a threat does it pose to Trump&rsquo;s presidency?</strong></em></p> <p>There have been over a dozen high-level and much-publicized personnel shifts in the Trump Administration in the past 9 months, but they shouldn&rsquo;t be interpreted as signaling that the President himself will be leaving anytime soon. <strong>These are all just casualties of Trump&rsquo;s war with the &ldquo;deep state&rdquo; (permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies), whereby the vested power interests in the US are fighting to defeat the &ldquo;Make America Great Again&rdquo; (MAGA) movement.</strong> Throughout the course of this conflict, Trump has clearly been thrown on the defensive as he&rsquo;s had to compromise on his promised foreign policy platforms in order to retain a chance at succeeding on the domestic front, but even that looks uncertain right now in some respects as the &ldquo;deep state&rdquo;, aided by the RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), relentlessly continues to chip away at MAGA in order to retain their power and influence.</p> <p><strong>If they can force Trump into submission and turn him into their puppet, as they&rsquo;re trying to do, then there would be no need to attempt to remove him from office;</strong> likewise, if he continues to resist in some capacities, as he&rsquo;s doing on domestic issues, then this scenario because more possible. Even so, it&rsquo;s unlikely to succeed except in the event that Trump&rsquo;s enemies can pull off turning him into the &ldquo;fascist dictator&rdquo; that they&rsquo;ve fear mongered he&rsquo;d become even before he was elected.</p> <p><strong>The only conceivable way for this to happen is if the domestic unrest in the US between the Alt-Left and Alt-Right becomes so uncontrollable that Trump is forced to implement limited martial law, and if (or likely when) a racial minority or group thereof is killed during this time, regardless of the circumstances, this would be used to swiftly bring about attempted impeachment charges on whatever trumped-up pretext can be made.</strong> It&rsquo;s not being implied that this will succeed, but just that if one talks about the impeachment scenario, then&nbsp;this is the only one out of the wide array that are being bandied about which has any realistic chance of succeeding,&nbsp;though the odds are nevertheless still slim.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 312px;" /></a></p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;The New Yorker&rdquo; recently&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">published</a>&nbsp;an article which said that racism and fascism have been on the rise after Trump&rsquo;s election, pointing to the incident in Charlottesville as proof of that. In your view, what&rsquo;s the risk that this will spark a war between the left and right in the US?</em></strong></p> <p>&ldquo;The New Yorker&rdquo;, given its liberal-progressive and endemic anti-Trump bias, shouldn&rsquo;t be trusted as a reliable source of information, but the fact that it&rsquo;s pushing the Mainstream Media narrative about Trump coming to power on the backs of racists and fascists deserves to be elaborated on. <strong>This is a false stereotype which suggests that &ldquo;white&rdquo; (Caucasian) people are racists simply because of their skin color, and therefore voted for Trump on that basis alone, which isn&rsquo;t the case at all and is condescending to the tens of millions of people who supported him for his policies.</strong></p> <p><em>That being said, there are indeed some actual racists and fascists who openly support Trump, but they&rsquo;re such a small minority of the population as to be statistically irrelevant. For instance, the notorious Ku Klux Klan only has several thousand members nationwide, which pales in comparison to the at least 100,000-200,000 members of the Alt-Left militant group &ldquo;Antifa&rdquo;, which has proven to be much more violent and dangerous than their Alt-Right counterparts.</em></p> <p><strong>The reason why the &ldquo;deep state&rdquo; is trying to link racists and fascists to Trump is to discredit his election victory, so their affiliated Mainstream Media proxies amplify the voices and numbers of a tiny minority of a minority of individuals in order to promote this perception.</strong> Nevertheless, they are dangerous and deserve to be condemned, though to be fair, so too should most of their Alt-Left counter-protesters, and for even more urgent reasons.</p> <p><strong>When &ldquo;Antifa&rdquo; is heralded as &ldquo;heroes&rdquo; despite their wanton destruction and actual fascist-like violent intolerance</strong> for any dissenting views, this lends &ldquo;legitimacy&rdquo; to their tactics and &ldquo;normalizes&rdquo; them, <strong>essentially turning Far-Left street destabilizations into an accepted part of life for the elite because of their weaponized instrumentalization in intimidating the vast majority of Trump&rsquo;s non-racist non-fascist base.</strong></p> <p>In turn, this can only<strong> provoke a defensive reaction from these people which spikes the chances of Left-Right clashes becoming as common in the future in America&rsquo;s cities&nbsp;as gangland shootings are today.</strong></p> <p>To tie all of this in with the previous question,&nbsp;<strong>the reason why the &ldquo;deep state&rdquo; and Soros-affiliated Alt-Left groups want to spark such pronounced disorder and chaos in the US is to fuel a Color Revolution which would then rapidly descend into an Unconventional War of urban terrorism and political killings, all with the intent of driving Trump to become the &ldquo;fascist dictator&rdquo; that they fear mongered he&rsquo;d become </strong>so as to have a basis for pushing through impeachment proceedings against him should&nbsp;racial minorities be&nbsp;killed if&nbsp;he implements&nbsp;limited martial law in response.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="752" height="340" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alt-Left Anarchism in the United States Anti-fascism in the United States Anti-racism Antifa Donald Trump Ku Klux Klan Martial Law Newspaper Politics Politics Politics of the United States Social Issues Terrorism in the United States Trump Administration United States White House White House Sat, 23 Sep 2017 03:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604030 at Japan's Lonely Single Men Are Settling For Virtual Reality "Wives Of The Future" <p>In a country where over 70% of unmarried men between 18 and 34, and 60% of women, have no relationship with a member of the opposite sex, and where birthrates are among the lowest in the world after Japanese women<a href=""> gave birth to fewer than one million babies</a> in 2016 for the first time since the government began tracking birth rates, Bloomberg reports on an industry that&rsquo;s profiting off the reluctance of young Japanese men and women to find a human partner.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 326px;" /></a></p> <p>What <a href="">Bloomberg </a>calls the &ldquo;virtual love industry&rdquo; in Japan has blossomed into a multi-million-dollar concern as unmarried men and women increasingly turn to simulated digital offerings for companionship.&nbsp; Inventors create applications that essentially allow users to build a &lsquo;virtual wife&rsquo; or &lsquo;virtual husband&rsquo;. While we imagine virtual companions bring badly needed comfort to millions of lonely Japanese, as <a href="">Bloomberg </a>notes, the industry does have a dark side: Some virtual-reality offerings promote unrealistic and even damaging portrayals of women as submissive. And men as domineering and menacing.</p> <p><iframe allowscriptaccess="always" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Starting today, you live here now, with me,&rdquo; he snarls. &ldquo;I expect you to keep me entertained.&rdquo; Wait, isn&rsquo;t that his job?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A real young man on the streets of Akihabara, a district of Tokyo known for its anime and manga culture, is impressed by a demo of the game but declares, cringing, &ldquo;Getting hit on by a man&mdash;it was pretty embarrassing.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Simple companionship isn&rsquo;t Takechi&rsquo;s only vision. His virtual world of husband and dutiful wife, he says, &ldquo;could develop into love, if we keep investigating further.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>One inventor who build a virtual-reality platform said he aims to create a virtual partner who brings greater satisfaction to Japanese men and women than a human companion would. That&rsquo;s bad news for the Japanese economy, which, thanks to the looming demographic crunch as the population rapidly ages, will need to increasingly rely on the Bank of Japan&rsquo;s &ldquo;stimulus&rdquo; to avoid a deflationary spiral.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;She&rsquo;s always there, always listening, ready to cater to her husband&rsquo;s every whim. Meet Azuma Hikari, Japan&rsquo;s digital &ldquo;wife of the future,&rdquo; according to her inventor, Minori Takechi, who believes his AI construct can go some way toward solving Japan&rsquo;s problem with loneliness.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hikari lives in a bubble&mdash;like, an actual bubble, or a little transparent cylinder at any rate&mdash;in a skimpy outfit, lending a sympathetic ear to her man&rsquo;s troubles, responding to commands, and flirting (&ldquo;bath time&mdash;do not peep!&rdquo;). Age: 20. Height: 158 centimeters. Specialty: fried eggs. Dislike: insects. So, less like Siri, more like Offred.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Takechi set out to create a partner who &ldquo;brings greater satisfaction than human interaction.&rdquo; Best of all, Hikari is bashful, so her owner &ldquo;doesn&rsquo;t have to communicate with her all the time,&rdquo; Takechi says with a shy grin, in the second video in our Love Disrupted series. He is selling his prototype for $2,700 and reports 300 pre-orders, mainly from men in their 20s and 30s.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>At any rate at matter, should North Korean Leader follow through with his threats to &ldquo;sink&rdquo; Japan with nuclear weapons, a decision that, using the logic of certain investment banks, would represent an unprecedented economic stimulus.<br />&nbsp;</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>Meanwhile, we recently noted that the thriving market for lifelike sex dolls may have jumped the shark after a company offering sex doll rentals shuttered its new venture after less than a week after it inspired a storm of controversy. But we doubt that setback will forestall more advances in sex doll technology. For a look at what&#39;s to come, <a href="">the Daily Star</a> recently published a look inside the sex doll workshop of Spanish scientist Dr Sergi Santos, who recently produced a talking sex robot named Samantha.</p> <p>The<a href=""> Daily Star </a>published some exclusive photos of Santos&#39;s &quot;works in progress&quot;...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 255px;" /></a></p> <p>Many of the images of the dolls mimicking real-life situations are simply uncanny...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 286px;" /></a></p> <p>It&#39;s a silicone angel...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 356px;" /></a></p> <p>And here&#39;s video from inside the workshop...</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="600" height="310" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> artificial intelligence Bank of Japan Bank of Japan Bloomberg L.P. Business Casual sex Digital media Dolls Economy of New York City Hikari Human sexuality Human–computer interaction Japan Masturbation Personal life Prostitution Reality Sex doll sex doll technology Virtual reality Virtual world Sat, 23 Sep 2017 02:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604009 at Blowback? - Mizzou Enrollment Tumbles To Lowest Since 2008 <p>Amid ongoing fallout from the negative media attention and student (and faculty) protests that rocked campus in 2015,<strong> the University of Missouri recently welcomed its smallest student body since 2008</strong>.</p> <p>As<a href=""> Campus Reform</a> has <a href="">repeatedly reported, the embattled university has taken hit after hit, starting with a $32 million budget shortfall</a> and a five-percent budget cut, <strong>followed by a seven-percent drop in freshmen enrollment heading into last school year.</strong></p> <p><strong>As some may remember Mizzou hit the headlines after Melissa Click, a journalism professor, won infamy nationwide for her behavior during race-related protests at MU in November 2015.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="310" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>When a student journalist tried to cover the public protests, Click physically confronted him, saying he had no right to be there and needed to &ldquo;get out.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>When the journalist resisted, <strong>Click called for &ldquo;some muscle&rdquo; to try forcing him back.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="573" id="molvideoplayer" scrolling="no" src="" title="MailOnline Embed Player" width="698"></iframe></p> <p><strong>The student&rsquo;s video of Click quickly went viral, and attracted the attention of Missouri lawmakers, more than 100 of whom signed a petition demanding Click&rsquo;s termination. </strong>Click herself was eventually hit with misdemeanor assault charges, which were dropped after she agreed to perform community service. Initially, the school said Click&rsquo;s fate would be decided during her tenure hearing in August, but in February the school&rsquo;s board gave in to outside pressure and fired her.</p> <p>And, <a href="">as Campus Reform&#39;s Anthony Gockowski reports,</a> since then it has been downhill for the University...</p> <p>More recently,<strong> Mizzou&nbsp;<a href="">shuttered</a>&nbsp;seven residence halls due to a drastic drop in enrollment, </strong>renting some of the vacant rooms out to sports fans to help make up for the school&rsquo;s many financial woes, and<strong> cut 474 jobs.</strong></p> <p>Now,&nbsp;<a href="">The Dothan Eagle&nbsp;reports</a>&nbsp;that the <strong>university is facing the lowest levels of enrollment since 2008, with official numbers showing that enrollment is down 12.9 percent.</strong></p> <p>Additionally, the&nbsp;Eagle&nbsp;notes that, with the exception of the senior class, <strong>every incoming class is smaller than last year&rsquo;s, and even international enrollment fell by 12.1 percent.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 313px;" /></a></p> <p>This year&#39;s freshman class is the smallest since 2008, with<u><strong> enrollment down about 33% from its peak in 2015.</strong></u></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="827" height="427" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 2015–16 University of Missouri protests Education headlines Missouri United States University of Missouri University of Missouri V-12 Navy College Training Program Sat, 23 Sep 2017 02:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604029 at From "Dotard" To "Old, Insane, B***h": Here's A List Of North Korea's Most Memorable Insults <p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un unwittingly set the internet on fire Thursday night when he proclaimed <a href="">that US President and purported Kim BFF Donald Trump</a> was a &ldquo;mentally deranged dotard&rdquo; and a &ldquo;rogue and a gangster.&rdquo;</p> <p>Kim&rsquo;s usage of the arcane vocab word prompted hundreds of thousands of people ask Google what exactly is a dotard? (for the record, it&rsquo;s a pejorative term for a senile old man).</p> <p>As the <a href="">Sun </a>newspaper points out, Kim&rsquo;s latest viral proclamation follows a pattern of North Korean media serving up memorable &ndash; if sometimes nonsensical &ndash; soundbites in their attacks on American politicians.</p> <p>And in a list dating back to the Bush Administration - when Kim Jong Un&#39;s father Kim Jong Il was still running the country - the <a href="">Sun </a>recounts some of North Korea&#39;s most memorable missives to their American &ldquo;imperialist&rdquo; adversaries.</p> <p><u><strong>Cory Gardner:</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><u><strong><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 315px;" /></strong></u></a></p> <p>When Senator Corey Gardner called Kim a &ldquo;whack job&rdquo; in May, the dictator was less than pleased. State media quickly responded, saying that Gardner was &ldquo;human dirt&rdquo;.</p> <p>A statement said: &quot;It is a serious provocation that Gardner, like a psychopath, dare to bear the evil that dares our highest dignity.</p> <p>&quot;It is America&rsquo;s misfortune that a man mixed in with human dirt like Gardner, who has lost basic judgement and body hair, could only spell misfortune for the United States.&quot;</p> <p><u><strong>Obama</strong></u>:</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 336px;" /></a></p> <p>In 2014, North Korea branded then-US President Barack Obama a &quot;juvenile delinquent&quot;, a &quot;clown&quot; and a &quot;dirty fellow.&rdquo; The North&rsquo;s remarks verged on outright racism when they said Obama &quot;still has the figure of monkey while the human race has evolved through millions of years.&quot;</p> <p>KCNA added that Obama &quot;does not even have the basic appearances of a human being&quot; and, in a particularly vile statement, called him: &quot;a wicked black monkey&quot;.</p> <p><u><strong>John Kerry:</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><u><strong><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 243px;" /></strong></u></a></p> <p>Also in 2014, an unidentified North Korean spokesperson poetically described then-Secretary of State John Kerry a &quot;wolf donning the mask of sheep&quot; who had a &quot;hideous lantern jaw.&rdquo;</p> <p><u><strong>Hillary Clinton:</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><u><strong><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 324px;" /></strong></u></a></p> <p>Kerry&rsquo;s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, was described in 2009 as &quot;by no means intelligent&quot; and a &quot;funny lady&quot;.</p> <p>&quot;Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping,&quot; an unnamed North Korean source said.</p> <p><u><strong>Park Geun-Hye:</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><u><strong><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 281px;" /></strong></u></a></p> <p>The reclusive regime has also made former South Korean President Park Geun-hye a popular target, alternately naming her as a &quot;senile granny&quot;, a &quot;tailless, old, insane bitch&quot;, and &quot;a traitor for all times&quot;.</p> <p><u><strong>George W Bush:</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><u><strong><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 313px;" /></strong></u></a></p> <p>North Korea famously labeled Bush a &ldquo;hooligan&rdquo; who &ldquo;looked like a chicken soaked in rain.&rdquo;</p> <p><u><strong>Dick Cheney</strong></u>:</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 328px;" /></a></p> <p>The former vice president was accused of being &ldquo;a most cruel monster and bloody-thirsty beast.&rdquo; Yet no jokes about his aim.</p> <p><u><strong>Donald Rumsfeld</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 290px;" /></a></p> <p>The North blasted Rummy, labeling him a &ldquo;political dwarf&rdquo; and &ldquo;human scum.&rdquo;</p> <p>If there&rsquo;s an upside to the US&rsquo;s reluctance to foment regime change in the North, it&rsquo;s that North Korea&rsquo;s leader, and its ministry of propaganda, will probably keep churning out these colorful little nuggets.<br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="526" height="318" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> B+ Barack Obama Bush Administration Donald Trump Forms of government Google Government John Kerry KIM Kim dynasty Kim Jong Kim Jong-il Kim Jong-un Korean Central News Agency Military personnel Newspaper North Korea North Korea Park Geun-hye Politics Politics Sat, 23 Sep 2017 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604024 at Australia Cracks Down On Foreign Real Estate Buyers As "Ghost Towers" Increasingly Outrage Locals <p>As we've discussed frequently over the past several years, home prices in some of Australia's largest markets have gone completely vertical since 2013 as wealthy Chinese buyers have increasingly sought safe havens outside of the mainland to <span style="text-decoration: line-through; color: #ff0000;">launder </span>invest their cash.&nbsp; Per the chart below, home prices in Melbourne have more than tripled since 2002 and Sydney is almost as bad.</p> <p><a href=" - Australia Home Prices.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 344px;" /></a></p> <p>Not surprisingly, the <strong>bubbly home prices have angered locals, not only because they've been priced out of the market by foreign buyers, but more so because those foreign buyers scoop up prime real estate and then proceed to let it sit vacant.</strong>&nbsp; The problem is so pervasive that these luxury towers, with apartments approaching $1 million, have been dubbed <strong>"ghost towers"</strong> by locals.&nbsp; Per <a href="">Bloomberg</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>These "ghost towers," as the high-end residential property with three-bedroom apartments costing almost $1 million have been dubbed, are popular with Chinese investors who mostly live abroad.</strong> Their darkened blocks loom as sparsely occupied symbols of a property market where even solidly middle class households have increasingly found themselves priced out. </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, policy makers are seizing on public resentment and hitting foreign buyers with more taxes. New South Wales has doubled its surcharge when foreigners purchase residential property, and Western Australia has added a new tax as well. More controversially, both the conservative federal government and the left-leaning one in Victoria state that includes Melbourne this year imposed additional taxes on properties deemed to be empty for six months or more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>More than 60 percent of Sydney residents blame foreign investment for the rising prices, </strong>according to a survey by University of Sydney academic Dallas Rogers. <strong>The idea of taking prime real estate out of the housing supply and leaving it vacant has become a focus of anger as homelessness has risen and hundreds of people have been camping in the rough out outside places like the Reserve Bank of Australia.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“It’s just absurd,"</strong> said Tony Keenan, chief executive officer of affordability advocacy group Launch Housing, referring to the fact that Australia’s long period of uninterrupted growth should have ensured homes for everyone instead of <strong>"record levels of homeless and massive construction with empty properties at the end."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An analysis of Australian census data by the City Futures Research Centre found more than one in 10 homes unoccupied on the night of the count last year, with empty properties having risen 19 percent in Melbourne and 15 percent in Sydney since the last census five years previously.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Foreigners, mainly from China, purchased 25 percent and 16 percent of the new housing supply in New South Wales and Victoria, respectively, </strong>in the year through September 2016, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG examination of state tax receipts.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=" - Australia.JPG"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 310px;" /></a></p> <p>But, much like <a href="">Vancouver</a> where city officials slapped foreign nationals with a 15% transfer tax on home purchases last summer, the city of Melbourne has decided to fight back by imposing its own taxes to curb what increasingly looks like one of the world's largest housing bubbles.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Melbourne’s tax of 1 percent of an empty home’s value takes effect in January, adding to a nationwide tax imposed in May that starts at A$5,500 ($4,400) and scales sharply upward for properties worth more than A$1 million.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Figuring out if a home is vacant is a vexing subject for public officials. Those in Victoria have said they plan to ask owners to self-declare, and also intend to monitor electricity and water usage to find cheaters. The Australian Taxation Office suggests the government investigate tips from informants. Other potential sources could include postal data or tax returns, said Catherine Cashmore, president of land tax reform group Prosper.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>But real estate professionals say it’s easy enough to hire someone to come in and turn on switches and taps, making a place appear lived-in.</strong> Agents say many properties are only temporarily empty, waiting for children to attend university or a family to able to move in. They also raise questions of fairness.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, not everyone is happy with the new taxes, including Monika Tu who has undoubtedly made a fortune helping rich Chinese buyers launder money through the Australian real estate market.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“What next?"</strong> said Monika Tu, the Sydney-based director of Black Diamondz, which specializes in high end property sales to mainly Chinese buyers. <strong>"Shall we tax people who buy new shoes and don’t wear them?’’</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Sorry, can always move to Seattle...we hear they're still very receptive to helping launder Chinese cash...</p> <p><a href=" - Seattle Home Prices.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 469px;" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1206" height="623" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Australia Australian Taxation Office Business China City Futures Research Centre Credit Suisse Economy Government Housing in the United Kingdom Land value tax Priced Out Property tax Real estate Real estate Real estate bubble Real property law Reserve Bank of Australia south Wales Tax Tax reform Taxation in Australia Taxation in Greece Taxation in India Taxation in the Netherlands University of Sydney Value-added tax Western Australia Sat, 23 Sep 2017 01:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604020 at Pictures Of Pyongyang: WSJ Unveils Never-Before-Seen Images From North Korea's Showcase Capital <p>For the first time since 2008, a team of <a href="">Wall Street Journal</a> journalists has been allowed to visit and document the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang just as tensions between the US and its longtime geopolitical foe are reaching a boiling point.</p> <p>The team of reporters was taken on a guided tour of the showcase capital, reporting that the country&rsquo;s nuclear ambitions appear to be etched into the city&rsquo;s landscape. Giant sculptures of atoms sit on top of new apartment towers built for the country&rsquo;s nuclear scientists.</p> <p>The atomic aesthetics, <a href="">WSJ </a>said, only reinforced the idea that the country would never voluntarily part with its nuclear program.</p> <p>&ldquo;During a recent visit, the first by The Wall Street Journal since 2008, the city&rsquo;s atomic aesthetics reinforced the message government officials conveyed repeatedly to the Journal reporters: North Korea won&rsquo;t part with its nuclear weapons under any circumstances and is resolved to suffer economic sanctions and risk war with the U.S. to keep them.&rdquo;</p> <p>One North Korean official told the <a href="">WSJ </a>that the country has &rdquo;grown up&rdquo; and that it isn&rsquo;t &ldquo;interested in dialogue that would undermine our newly built strategic status.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="">WSJ </a>noted that North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan on the second day of the trip. And hours after the group departed, US President Donald Trump vowed to &ldquo;totally destroy North Korea&rdquo; if the US is required to defend itself or allies, saying leader Kim Jong Un, whom he called &ldquo;Rocket Man&rdquo;, was on a &ldquo;suicide path for himself and his regime.&rdquo;</p> <p>However, the two English-speaking diplomats in dark suits who chaperoned WSJ&rsquo;s reporters during their trip took a &ldquo;more measured tone.&rdquo;</p> <p>Over the next few days, they monitored several official interviews, visits to city landmarks and brief encounters with a handful of Pyongyang residents, which appeared to signal a rare outreach campaign by the government for outside news organizations to convey what it sees as the logic of its nuclear-weapons program. The US and North Korea don&rsquo;t have diplomatic relations, and even indirect contact is limited.</p> <p>North Korea only allows outside media to visit with the explicit sanction of the state, and visitors are kept under close watch. Authorities granted WSJ requests to visit factories and stores, which were chosen by the government.</p> <p>Here is a collection of photos the reporters took during their visit to Pyongyang:</p> <p>An atomic sculpture outside a newly constructed residential building for the country&#39;s nuclear scientists.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 272px;" /></p> <p>Children play with plastic weapons at an orphanage in Pyongyang.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 270px;" /></a></p> <p>The Dear Leader...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 285px;" /></a></p> <p>The entrance hall at Pyongyang&rsquo;s new science library, crowned by a painting of former leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il...</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 243px;" /></p> <p>A replica of a North Korean rocket stands in the center of the science library...</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 253px;" /></p> <p>In another telling detail, WSJ spoke with Ri Song Ho, who directs the Golden Cup Trading Co. factory, which produces some 700 different snacks, sodas, breads and sweets.<strong> Among its brands is a cake featuring an image of a North Korean rocket ready for launch.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="912" height="497" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Anti-Revisionists Communism Donald Trump Japan KIM Kim dynasty Kim Il-sung Kim Jong-il Kim Jong-un Marshals Military personnel North Korea North Korea North Korea and weapons of mass destruction Politics Pyongyang Socialism Wall Street Journal Sat, 23 Sep 2017 01:07:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604016 at "This Is Embarrassing": 2 People Show Up For iPhone 8 Launch in China <p>Confirming reports that reception for Apple's newly launched iPhone 8 may be "underwhelming" to put it lightly, as the phone provides little if any material improvement over its lower-priced predecessor even as sales for hardcore fans will be cannibalized by the iPhone X, <a href=";aid=12975874193141582441&amp;cid=100&amp;zzd_from=ucnews-iflow&amp;uc_param_str=dndseiwifrvesvntgipf&amp;rd_type=share&amp;pagetype=share&amp;btifl=100&amp;sdkdeep=2&amp;sdksid=ab2d0d18-5f68-724a-720b-222b8fda7512&amp;sdkoriginal=ab2d0d18-5f68-724a-720b-222b8fda7512">is the following report from Hangzhou, China </a>which shows that all of 2 people were waiting in line for the latest gizmo from Tim Cook.</p> <p><img src="" width="480" height="670" /></p> <p><img src="" width="480" height="320" /></p> <p>As <a href=";aid=12975874193141582441&amp;cid=100&amp;zzd_from=ucnews-iflow&amp;uc_param_str=dndseiwifrvesvntgipf&amp;rd_type=share&amp;pagetype=share&amp;btifl=100&amp;sdkdeep=2&amp;sdksid=ab2d0d18-5f68-724a-720b-222b8fda7512&amp;sdkoriginal=ab2d0d18-5f68-724a-720b-222b8fda7512">Chinese media reports</a>, summarized by David Kersten, "note the barricades for the anticipated queue...</p> <p><img src="" width="480" height="269" /></p> <p>... that had to be put away because only 2 people showed up."</p> <p><img src="" width="480" height="269" /></p> <p>Some more details:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>I've C&amp;P'd this article, clumsily translated by Google, because, being from a Chinese site, it doesn't adapt well to the Facebook environment, however, the link is provided as are the pictures.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Embarrassing! IPhone 8 today, Hangzhou, security guards are busy removing the fence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" width="480" height="336" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>September 22, the Bank of China iPhone 8 officially opened in the major channels. Hangzhou Apple West Lake shop, more than six in the morning to thirty or forty security. Black fence posture full of a row of rows, turn a few 90 degrees bend. 8:00 to open the door, the door on the two line up. 8:43 security guards began to withdraw fence ...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" width="480" height="336" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to Hong Kong media, and the mainland, Hong Kong, Apple shop customers have no more employees."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" width="480" height="360" /></p> </blockquote> <p>With the iPhone 8 a dud, at least in China, AAPL longs are hoping that the reception for the iPhone X in a few weeks will be notably more enthusiastic, or else Apple may have a major problem on its hands.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="479" height="257" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Apple Apple Inc. Apple Store China Consumer electronics Google Hangzhou Hong Kong IOS IPhone IPhone 6 Technology Technology Video Sat, 23 Sep 2017 01:01:09 +0000 Tyler Durden 603991 at Russia Warns US In Unprecedented "Secret" Face-To-Face Meeting Over Syria, But What's The Endgame? <p>The moment the first Russian jet landed in Syria at the invitation of the Assad government in 2015, Putin placed himself in the driver&#39;s seat concerning the international proxy war in the Levant. From a strategic standpoint the armed opposition stood no chance of ever tipping the scales against Damascus from that moment onward. And though US relations with Russia became more belligerent and tense partly as a result of that intervention, it meant that Russia would set the terms of how the war would ultimately wind down.</p> <p>Russia&#39;s diplomatic and strategic victory in the Middle East was made clear this week as news broke of &quot;secret&quot; and unprecedented US-Russia face to face talks on Syria. <strong>The Russians reportedly issued a stern warning to the US military, saying that it will respond in force should the Syrian Army or Russian assets come under fire by US proxies.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">AP reports</a> that senior military officials from both countries met in an undisclosed location &quot;somewhere in the Middle East&quot; in order to discuss spheres of operation in Syria and how to avoid the potential for a direct clash of forces. Tensions have escalated in the past two weeks as the Syrian Army in tandem with Russian special forces are now set to fully liberate Deir Ezzor city, while at the same time the US-backed SDF (the Arab-Kurdish coalition, &quot;Syrian Democratic Forces&quot;) - advised by American special forces - is advancing on the other side of the Euphrates. As we&#39;ve explained before,<strong> the US is not fundamentally motivated in its &quot;race for Deir Ezzor province&quot; by defeat of ISIS terrorism</strong>, but in truth by <strong>control of the eastern province&#39;s oil fields. </strong>Whatever oil fields the SDF can gain control of in the wake of Islamic State&#39;s retreat will then used as powerful bargaining leverage in negotiating a post-ISIS Syria. The Kurdish and Arab coalition <strong>just&nbsp;this week captured&nbsp;Tabiyeh and al-Isba oil and gas fields northeast of Deir Ezzor city.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="" width="500"></iframe></p> <p><em>The race is underway for Syria&#39;s most oil rich province. Syrian War Report (9/22/17) courtesy of &nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">SouthFront</a>.</em></p> <p>At various times the Syrian-Russian side has come under mortar fire from SDF positions, even as Russia and the US are theoretically said to coordinate through a special military hotline. The SDF for its part claims it too has come under attack from the Syrian Army. The most significant event occurred just over a year ago when&nbsp;the US coalition <a href="" target="_blank">launched a massive air attack</a> on Syrian government troops in Deir Ezzor near the city&#39;s military airport at the very moment they were fighting ISIS. The US characterized it as a case of mistaken identity while&nbsp;Syria accused the US coalition of directly aiding ISIS by the attack.&nbsp;The end result was about 100 Syrian soldiers dead and over a hundred more wounded while ISIS terrorists were able to advance and entrench their positions.&nbsp;</p> <p>Though US officials disclosed few elements of this week&#39;s unusual meeting, <strong>the US side did confirm Russia&#39;s threat of returning fire should Syrian soldiers come under attack</strong>. US coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon <a href="" target="_blank">confirmed</a>&nbsp;that, &ldquo;They had a face-to-face discussion, laid down maps and graphics.&rdquo; But the Russians publicly delivered further details outlining its message to the US military. Russian Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement,&ldquo;A representative of the U.S. military command in Al Udeid (the U.S. operations center in Qatar)<strong> was told in no uncertain terms that any attempts to open fire from areas where SDF fighters are located would be quickly shut down.</strong>&rdquo; He added that, &ldquo;Fire points in those areas will be immediately suppressed with all military means.&rdquo; <strong>Russia has further <a href="">openly accused</a> the US of violating previously agreed to &#39;de-escalation&#39; zones in Idlib (as part of Astana talks) using al-Qaeda proxies to engaged the Syrian Army in Idlib.</strong></p> <p>The US coalition hinted in its statements that future military-to-military talks could continue regarding coordination in Syria. Though Russian warnings sound alarmist, and though the situation is increasingly very dangerous for the prospect of escalation, the US side appears to be in a vulnerable enough position to listen. <strong>The fact that the meeting occurred in the first place and was publicly acknowledged by the Pentagon is hugely significant as a US ban on such direct military talks was put in place after the collapse in relations between the two nations following the outbreak of the Ukraine proxy war in 2014.</strong></p> <p>In reality some degree of US-Russian back channel communication and intelligence sharing probably existed long before the SDF made gains in Syria&#39;s east - this according to Seymour Hersh&#39;s 2016 investigation entitled, <a href="" target="_blank">&quot;Military to Military&quot;</a>. Though (ironically) the CIA&#39;s push for regime change against Damascus was still operational and presumably in full gear at that time, the Pentagon&#39;s actions in Syria were always perhaps more humble regarding pursuit of regime change.</p> <p><strong>But what are current Pentagon plans for its SDF proxy?</strong></p> <p>It&#39;s no secret that the core component force of the SDF - the Kurdish YPG - has at times loosely cooperated with the Syrian government when the situation pragmatically served both sides. At the same time Damascus has over the past few years recognized <strong>the Kurds as a militarily effective buffer against both ISIS and other powerful jihadist groups like al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham.</strong> While many Russian and pro-Damascus analysts have accused the SDF of being a mere pawn of US imperialism meant to permanently Balkanize the region, this is only partially true - the truth is likely more nuanced.</p> <p>No doubt, the US is laying plenty of concrete in the form of <a href="" target="_blank">forward operating bases across Kurdish held areas</a> of northern and eastern Syria (currently about a dozen or more). And no doubt the US is enabling the illegal seizure of oil fields formerly held by the Islamic State, but Kurdish and US interests are not necessarily one and the same.&nbsp;The Kurds know that the best they can hope for in a post-war Syria is a federated system which allows Kurdish areas a high degree of autonomy. They also know, as decades of experience has taught them, that <strong>they will eventually be dumped by the US</strong> should the political cost of support grow too high or become untenable. <strong>For now the Kurds are gobbling up as many oil fields as possible before they are inevitably forced to cut deals with Damascus.</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">That is it. <a href="">#Kurdistan</a> referendum has gone ahead. Diaspora Kurds can begin early voting. First vote has been cast in China.</p> <p>&mdash; Namo Abdulla (@namo_abdulla) <a href="">September 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Though the US endgame is the ultimate million dollar question in all of this, it appears at least for now that this endgame has something to do with the Pentagon forcing itself into a place of affecting the Syrian war&#39;s outcome and final apportionment of power: <strong>the best case scenario being permanent US bases under a Syrian Kurdish federated zone with favored access to Syrian oil doled out by Kurdish partners.</strong> While this is the &#39;realist&#39; scenario, there&#39;s of course always the question that<a href="" target="_blank"> an independent Iraqi Kurdistan could one day be realized</a> out of the merging of Kurdish northern Iraq and Syria. But this would be nothing less than a geopolitical miracle. For now, <strong>early voting has begun in the Kurdish diaspora ahead of the planned for September 25th referendum on Kurdish independence</strong>, with the very first votes <a href="" target="_blank">reportedly</a> being cast in China.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="900" height="500" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> al-Qaeda Asia Assad government Central Intelligence Agency China Deir ez-Zor Eastern Syria Ethnic groups in Syria Geography of Asia Iraq Kurds Kurds in Syria Levant Levant Middle East Middle East Military northern Iraq northern Syria Pentagon Politics Reality Rojava SDF Social Democratic Front Syria Syrian army Syrian Civil War Syrian Democratic Forces Syrian government Ukraine US military Sat, 23 Sep 2017 01:00:15 +0000 Tyler Durden 604025 at Mainstream Media 'Triggered' Over Trump Sovereignty Talk, Claims 'America First' Idea Is Russian Propaganda <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Alex Thomas via,</em></a></p> <p><strong>In yet another example of obvious disinformation being pushed by the establishment media,</strong> noted liar and MSNBC host Brian Williams took to the airwaves Wednesday to <strong>complain about the presidents use of the word &ldquo;sovereignty&rdquo; </strong>before&nbsp;interviewing a former CIA operative who <strong>declared that&nbsp;the literal idea of putting ones country first somehow &ldquo;plays into Putin&rsquo;s playbook&rdquo;.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="280" src="" width="560" /></a></p> <p>Responding to President Trump&rsquo;s repeated use of the word sovereign and sovereignty during his recent United Nations speech, Williams worried if this was a dog whistle signal to the liberal world order that the United States was no&nbsp;longer looking to world governing bodies for guidance.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Back to this use of the words sovereign and sovereignty,&rdquo; </strong>Williams said as he spoke to mainstream media reporter&nbsp;Anita Kumar. <strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Did you hear a buzzword or a dog whistle in his repeated use of that world?&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;You know it caused me to go back through and count how many times and so he used that word sovereign or sovereignty 21 times,&rdquo;</strong> a clearly triggered Kumar stated.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;It was definitely the word.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Pretending not to know what the word sovereignty means, Williams than asked his guest&nbsp;who in turn was only to happy to take shots at the entire idea of putting ones own country first.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;It just means what he was talking about from the beginning which is America first, we&rsquo;re going to go it alone,&rdquo; </strong>Kumar laughably claimed before moving into the heart of the real reason that the establishment doesn&rsquo;t want America put first. <em>(Hint: They actually care more about the United Nations than America itself)</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;That really undermines to me the UN which is where he was today, NATO, EU places like that. International bodies he was really saying, don&rsquo;t matter as much anymore,&rdquo; Kumar continued.</p> </blockquote> <p>Apparently in leftist insanity land&nbsp;Trump is the bad guy because he is directly going up against the very international bodies that the American people voted against in the 2016 election.</p> <p>Amazingly, this wasn&rsquo;t the only open propaganda during the segment, as <strong>Williams also turned to former Chief of State for the DOD and the CIA under the Obama administration Jeremy Bash who openly declared that the entire idea of economic nationalism was a Russian ideology that plays into &ldquo;Putins playbook&rdquo;.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>You truly can&rsquo;t make this nonsense up.</strong></u></p> <p>Deep state operatives are now telling the American people that making their OWN country stronger helps the Russians.&nbsp;This has taken the level of Trump derangement syndrome to an all-time high.</p> <p>The segment also makes clear the transparent fact that the large majority of mainstream media talking heads are globalists first and Americans second (or third in some cases).</p> <p>As Steve Watson <a href="" target="_blank">so rightfully noted</a>, <em><strong>&ldquo;To these unabashed globalists, even hearing the President use the word &lsquo;sovereign&rsquo; is a trigger.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="520" height="260" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Authority Business Central Intelligence Agency Country Department of Defense Donald Trump Economy of the United States European Union MSNBC Nationalism North Atlantic Treaty Organization Obama Administration Politics of the United States Sovereignty United Nations Westphalian sovereignty Sat, 23 Sep 2017 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604026 at Why The German Elections Matter, And Not Just For Germany <p>With just hours to go before the German election, Angela Merkel looks set to remain Chancellor for a record fourth term. This suggests largely unchanged economic policies, focusing on fiscal prudence and conditional steps towards European integration. However, with new political winds clouding the outlook for globalization, trade relationships and security in Europe, and with lingering questions on the sustainability of the EMU, Germany can ill afford to rest on its laurels, according to SocGen. The CDU&rsquo;s choice of coalition partner(s) will be crucial, with the SDP, FDP and the Greens in a good position to exert concessions. The new government will need to show leadership on domestic reform, thereby maintaining pressure on other euro area countries, while supporting structurally stronger wage growth, not least to support the ECB&rsquo;s QE exit. To strengthen euro area resilience, there is also a need for progress on the Banking Union and fiscal integration in the coming years, all pieces of a possible future political integration. With Brexit, Germany will also face the task of ensuring a smooth transition and defining the direction of the EU. Merkel&rsquo;s choices over the coming four years may thus define her legacy more than any previous terms.</p> <p>Courtesy of WorldView, here is a preview of what to expect this Sunday, and why the <a href=";utm_source=hs_email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=56569082&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8k4Pn1y9a5_1sqylOfqH0Poggkc8wCcjddtFrw_ls8KYD6q8dV9BgqeWczLLXgo_WtPuNGGdSRPboHZ6rgBWv5CgbA-g&amp;_hsmi=56568734#/entry/jsconnect?client_id=644347316&amp;">German elections matter, and not just for Germany</a>.</p> <p>Highlights:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Germany&#39;s Sept. 24 election will likely result in one of the most fragmented parliaments the country has seen in decades.</strong></li> <li><strong>The country&#39;s two largest parties will try to avoid renewing their current coalition partnership, meaning smaller parties will play a big role in the formation of the next government.</strong></li> <li><strong>The ideological composition of the new administration will affect negotiations to reform the European Union, and when it comes to Southern Europe&#39;s proposals for reform, a center-right coalition would be more skeptical than a center-left coalition.</strong></li> </ul> <div> <div class="paragraph"> <div> <div class="fs18"> <p>Germany is heading into the final weeks of a fairly uneventful campaign season. There is little chance of a major nationalist or Euroskeptic victory, and opinion polls have remained steady. Although the runup to the Sept. 24 election has been relatively quiet, major repercussions, both domestic and international, could follow in its wake. The big question &mdash; both for Germans and fellow members of the European Union &mdash; is what form the final distribution of seats in the Bundestag, Germany&#39;s lower house of parliament, will take. The answer will determine not only the possible combination of parties that will form a German government coalition, but also shape the direction that much-needed reforms to the European bloc will take.</p> <p><strong>Chaotic Coalitions</strong></p> <p>For the past four years, Germany has been governed by a ruling coalition made up of the country&#39;s two largest parties: the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the progressive Social Democratic Party (SPD), led by former EU Parliament President Martin Schulz. Though the two parties have been able to work together, their policies and outlook differ, and neither is eager to find itself in the same coalition after the dust of the national election settles. The CDU and SPD will both be looking to form agreements with the country&#39;s smaller political parties &mdash; four of which are in close competition to be the third-most-powerful party in Germany: the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP); the environmentalist The Greens; the left-wing The Left; and the Euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD). If the most recent opinion polls true and all four earn enough votes to enter the legislature, Germany would face its most fragmented parliament in decades.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="568" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>Based on previous postelection negotiations, which lasted a month in 2009 and three months in 2013, German policymakers could again take months to settle on a new government. In the meantime, the country would operate under a caretaker government as the parties hammer out functional alliances. And though the CDU and SPD are angling to avoid a repeat of their current coalition paring, it remains a possibility. Another option, if the newly elected parliament struggles to coalesce, would be the formation of a minority government, in which one party governs alone, supported by other parties on a case-by-case basis. Given Germany&#39;s consensus-driven political environment, this would be an unusual step, but it is not out the question.</p> <p><strong>What&#39;s at Stake for Europe</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div class="paragraph"> <div> <div class="fs18"> <p>In Germany, unlike in&nbsp;<a class="connectedContentTrigger" href="" title="What Comes Next for France?">recent French</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a class="connectedContentTrigger" href="" title="The Euroskeptic Wave Has Not Broken">Dutch</a>&nbsp;elections, there is little risk that the government will include nationalist or Euroskeptic forces. The AfD likely will win a handful of seats in the Bundestag, but other parties for the most part will refuse to cooperate with it. Meanwhile, The Left will also struggle to find partners, though it could possibly become a member of a broad center-left alliance. But while the German election doesn&#39;t pose the same threat to the stability of the eurozone as did the French or Dutch elections, the next German government&#39;s composition will play an important role in determining the future of the European Union.</p> <p>Over the past decade, a combination of economic crises and strong nationalist sentiments made institutional reform in the European Union impossible. Now that most member states are growing again, and as the 2017 electoral season is reaching its end, the political environment for reform has become more favorable. Furthermore, last year&#39;s Brexit referendum convinced most EU members and institutions that reforms are necessary to revitalize the bloc after years of shocks.</p> <p>As the biggest economy in Europe, Germany will play a significant role in&nbsp;<a class="connectedContentTrigger" href="" title="The EU Prepares to Pursue Reforms Under Brighter Skies">EU reform&nbsp;negotiations</a>.&nbsp;Thus, the ideological composition of its government will be a crucial piece of the reform puzzle. In recent weeks, France, Italy and Spain each have made reform proposals, including plans to increase blocwide investment and introduce risk-sharing measures in the eurozone. Italy and Spain have even proposed issuing debt that is jointly backed by all the members of the eurozone. Meanwhile, France said that it will hold off on additional proposals for the eurozone until after the German election, so that Paris and Berlin can discuss the plans together.</p> <p>Whoever has control in Germany&#39;s parliament will influence the negotiations and eventual compromises made between the&nbsp;<a class="connectedContentTrigger" href="" title="Setting the Stage For EU Reform">northern and southern blocs of the eurozone</a>. If the election results in a center-right coalition led by the CDU, the government would probably take a skeptical view of plans presented by Southern Europe. A center-left coalition led by the SDP, meanwhile, would be more open to them. But regardless of who is in charge, Germany and other Northern European countries will be reluctant to share risk with their Southern European counterparts. Even though Berlin is not entirely opposed to Southern Europe&#39;s proposals, it will almost certainly request tighter control of fiscal policies in the eurozone &mdash; a concession that Southern European countries will resist.</p> <p>The makeup of the next coalition in Berlin will also influence debates on a variety of other EU issues. For example, Germany falls well short of NATO&#39;s goal that its members spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense, and the CDU is more willing to increase military spending than the SPD. When it comes to Brexit, most German parties align on a few things: they are in favor of reaching a deal with the United Kingdom, and they agree that the bloc&#39;s future relationship with London should include fewer benefits than EU membership would have granted. However, London would prefer a CDU-led government to one led by the SPD, given Schulz&#39;s background as former EU Parliament president and his strong defense of the bloc and its institutions.</p> <p>And it&#39;s not just the two big parties that will affect continental affairs. Depending on the Cabinet positions they are given, junior coalition partners could also shape some of Berlin&#39;s decisions. The FDP, for example, would probably resist the kinds of&nbsp;<a class="connectedContentTrigger" href="" title="In Europe, France Leads the Protectionist Charge">protectionist moves that France is proposing</a>, while The Left would push for strong government spending and higher taxes for corporations. These parties&#39; abilities to shape policy will of course be limited, but they should not be completely disregarded.</p> <p><strong>Germany Tackles a Challenging Future</strong></p> <p>Beyond the larger concerns of the European Union, Germany is also facing a number of long-term domestic challenges. And while discussion of those issues has been largely absent in the electoral campaign so far, the country will eventually to have reckon with them.</p> <p>The German economy has grown at a decent pace in recent years, and unemployment is at record lows. However, as a member of the eurozone, Germany could still be harmed by developments in other countries. For example, the bailout program that helped Greece stabilize its economy is set to expire in mid-2018, and Athens likely will request help to reduce the burden of its sovereign debt. This idea is controversial in Germany, and the FDP has even suggested that Greece leave the eurozone in exchange for debt relief. The Italian general election in early 2018 offers further challenges. There is a real chance that Italian votes will put&nbsp;<a class="connectedContentTrigger" href="" title="Italy Looms on the Eurozone's Horizon">a euroskeptic government in power</a>, which would create a major roadblock to eurozone reforms.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="703" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>Germany&#39;s stability could take also hits for reasons more within its control, as the country&#39;s export-driven economy faces pressure from its main trade partners. Southern European countries want Berlin to increase domestic spending to boost imports, and the United States has repeatedly criticized Germany&#39;s&nbsp;<a class="connectedContentTrigger" href="" title="Holding Europe Together in the Age of Trump">massive trade surplus</a>. A more protectionist stance by the United States, Germany&#39;s main trade partner outside the eurozone, could damage German exports. Moreover, Germany&#39;s flagship industry &mdash; its automotive sector &mdash; may need to readapt its business model as it faces competition from new technologies and foreign vehicle manufacturers as well as the aftermath of the &quot;dieselgate&quot; emissions test-rigging scandal.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div> <p>Finally, Germany faces two complex demographic challenges. The first is that its society is becoming more diverse, due to migration from other EU countries and specifically the recent influx of asylum seekers from the Middle East. This surge in immigration has in turn led to the emergence of nationalist and anti-immigration groups, and though they aren&#39;t as strong as those in other countries like France, they are a growing concern. The second challenge is the country&#39;s low fertility rates and high life expectancy. The German population will become older and potentially smaller in the coming decades, putting extra pressure on&nbsp;<a class="connectedContentTrigger" href="" title="Health Care: A Universal Problem Without a Universal Solution">Germany&#39;s health care</a>&nbsp;and pension systems and also possibly causing a labor shortage.</p> <p>The pressing issues surrounding the Sept. 24 elections will be primarily related to the makeup of the ruling coalition and how that coalition will handle the impending reforms to the European Union. But slippery economic and demographic issues will not disappear, and no matter which party leads the country for the next four years, it will eventually have to face these challenges.</p> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="714" height="388" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alliance 90/The Greens Alternative for Germany Angela Merkel Banking Union Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Christian Democratic Union of Germany EU Parliament European Central Bank European monetary union European Parliament European Union European Union Euroscepticism Eurozone France Free Democratic Party Free Democratic Party (FDP) German government German Lutherans Germany Germany's parliament Greece Gross Domestic Product Italy Middle East Middle East North Atlantic Treaty Organization Politics Politics of Europe Politics of Germany SocGen Social Democratic party Social Democratic Party of Germany Southern Europe Sovereign Debt The Greens The Left The Left Unemployment United Kingdom Sat, 23 Sep 2017 00:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 604014 at